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Vote For Westport; Win $10,000

Congress might be unable to decide what to do about $85 billion in sequestration funds. But Westporters — and Westport fans — don’t have to dither about money.

In fact, just by clicking here, you can help us win $10,000. If When we win, those funds go straight to a charity of our choice.

It’s part of the Make A Difference Day National Award. The prize money comes from the Gannett Foundation, and USA Weekend.

We’re up against communities in Pennsylvania, Florida,Texas and Colorado.

Here’s what USA Today says about Westport, and our participation in the local Make A Difference Day:

In their 17th year of participation, 1,500 residents from this town of 26,000 rallied to help struggling neighbors. A total of 19 projects — ranging from clearing nature trails to packing “comfort bags” for abused women — were carried out that day.

Make A Difference Day “has become part of our culture,” says project chairwoman Barbara Pearson-Rac. “It’s what Westport does in October.”

The town won the National Make A Difference Day Award in 2006. This time around, Girl Scouts crafted toys for guide dogs. Boy Scouts hauled debris off an island in Long Island Sound. A crew of SLOBs, the Service League of Boys, planted flowers to beautify a women’s shelter. Builders Beyond Borders created a community garden in a poor area of neighboring Bridgeport.

Making a Difference in the Memorial Day parade.

Halloween was happier for needy kids served by the Family & Children’s Agency of Norwalk — including six siblings whose home was flooded by Hurricane Sandy — thanks to a collection of at least 150 costumes by Westport elementary schools. Volunteers also donated 600 pairs of socks for the agency’s homeless clients.

Food was a special focus because “pantries were empty,” says Pearson-Rac. Stationed outside a Stop & Shop market on Make A Difference Day, Sunrise Rotary Club members asked shoppers to buy peanut butter and canned goods for the Homes With Hope homeless shelter. Five SUV loads were delivered, amazing CEO Jeff Wieser. “Boy, did that move the needle at our pantry!” he says. “This was the biggest single-day food drive I’ve seen. Westport is a small town with a huge heart.”

Inspired? Here’s the link again to help us win $10,000, to be given away as we choose:  click here.

One vote per person per day is allowed.

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